While not properly celebrating Christmas in the last few years, I decided that as our first year living together, having Christmas, etc, I should start bringing back some traditions so that they will live on and on in our lives. And when I say celebrating properly, I basically mean doing the things my family does...which to me is proper haha. This would include listening to Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving, wrapping presents with care and bows, decorating the tree while feeling jolly, and of course, making cookies.
Seeing as I had never made sugar cookies before, I have only one idea of them in my head - my cousin Joni's that she brings to every Christmas family reunion. They are to die for. She always makes them in the shapes of wreaths and decorates them all cute, and each time you eat one, you just HAVE to have another. For me, biting into that cookie is like tasting Christmas, and I wanted to bring that feeling to my home. My in-laws already think I am a bit crazy for all the baking I do, so whats another batch of cookies to throw me overboard?
I got in contact with Joni and GASP found out that the recipe that I had always thought was a highly guarded family secret turned out to be Ms. Betty Crocker herself! Betty Crocker knows... Evenmore, she uses the icing from the plastic tubs! I was at a loss - I have no Betty Crocker cookbook here, nor do Spanish grocery stores selling icing let alone know what it is. In reconnaissance mode, I got the recipe sent to me for both and set out to make them. Cookie cutters here are also a long shot, so my friend Cassie sent me adorable ones from the other side of the ocean, so I was all set...or so I thought.
I gathered together all the ingredients and thought you might get a kick of seeing the different packaging of all the stuff. The only thing I couldn't manage to find was almond flavoring. I'll get over it, and it was only a half a teaspoon anyways. Last Sunday afternoon with the carols blaring I got started only to realize when the mass was mixed and ready to roll out that oops I have no rolling pin. These are things that never used to cross my mind when I wanted to bake something, but now I need to double check everytime I want to make something! I tried to fashion one out of the paper towel roll covered with flour but that was quite unsuccessful. In the end I just kneaded it and then pushed it with my hands, so my cookies turned out a bit lumpy, but tasty I will admit.
After drying I whipped up some buttercream icing and got to frosting. When Joseba came home he couldn't help but laugh. He had walked in at the exact moment I was putting suspenders on the little gingerbread shaped man I was frosting. He did admit that he was very cute and even helped me frost a cookie :)
I've taken them to work and to our family dinner last week and every agrees they are a hit, which I knew would happen - they are delicious, not because of me...mostly because of Betty! I highly recommend her cookies to anyone who hasn't made Christmas cookies yet! Christmas is just around the corner and these will make you feel oh-so-festive. Tonight some girlfriends are coming over and we are going to do a little decorating party - spreading my Christmas cheer, and I hope you catch it too!